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Queer cooking: Utah’s gays heat up the culinary scene

While the Beyoncé song, “Run the World” claims that girls run the world, the same could easily be said about queers. With impact on everything from art to industry, Utah’s queers contribute to all levels of society. One of the biggest areas of impact is the culinary arts. From restaurant management to sommeliers and chefs, Utah’s queers know how to cook. Here’s just a smattering of some of the gays and lesbians who are making an impact on Utah’s culinary scene.

Cameron Bailey

People around the nation might soon be seeing Utah resident Cameron Bailey’s recipe for bacon-chicken sliders with raspberry-onion spread in the local grocery store. Bailey is a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest and will be competing in the spring for $1 million.  The winning recipe will also be featured in grocery stores and online.

“I’m really excited to be participating. I’ve been following the contest since I was 8 years old and I’ve submitted recipes in the past, but this is the first time I was accepted,” Bailey said.

Bailey, who was a pastry chef at Grand America, always pursued baking as a hobby and taught himself the art. He recently hung up his apron on professional cooking, but continues to bake.

“I think I’ll always be doing something in the kitchen. It’s my passion,” he said.

To find out more information about the contest, go to Pillsbury.com.

Jake Blaine

Ganached By Jake specializes in wedding cakes, cupcakes, pastries and much more. Owned and operated by Jake Blaine, Ganached is a shining testimony of creativity and skill. Blaine has always had a passion for baking and he decided to turn his love into a career. He graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute and began dazzling wedding guests, birthday party-goers and event planners with his fantastic and whimsical cakes and pastries.

“Everything is made from scratch and designed to fit the personality and desires of the customer,” Blaine said. “You can count on quality and customization.”

For more information, go to GanachedByJake.com.

Amy Britt and Jennifer Gilroy

One of the only true wine bars in the state, Meditrina brings a style and flare to the state that was severely lacking before it opened. Amy Britt and Jennifer Gilroy, who are partners both romantically and in business, run the cozy neighborhood tapas restaurant.

“We serve fun food with flare,” Gilroy said. “In the South, there are a lot of neighborhood wine bars and restaurants. It’s a little niche that didn’t seem to be filled here.”

Both Gilroy and Britt have been involved in the restaurant business since they were 16 years old, and their culinary and management skills came through working in other small restaurants.

“I always worked in neighborhood restaurants in the South and I got to go into the kitchen and learn how everything was done,” Gilroy said. “We’re a real mom-and-mom restaurant.”

For more information and a sample menu, go to MeditrinaSLC.com.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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